Eleanor Careless


red flags

the tack tack tack
of blood spats        breaches of community standards and all
lurch forward with doubled feeling, take
group cover the less visible option only
break when we reach              a red flag

                    taken down reads
some kind of sign of a blood taboo     did not break
when you reach      a red flag
the idea of community            taken as standard
prints place mats onto postcards sells
places at the table relics of
a mechanical age

the idea taken down goes
        the blood in the cup is darker
than the marketing would have you believe
       absorbent discardable masks soak up the sell
     that bodies cannot know themselves


it goes, depression comes in batches
of days in a foil
to sterilised/overweight cats and
the cleansing of slums and what's freedom in fact


flags sell formula in a deceptive act
of sexualisation and makes milk many things
a central component of the human diet     a "white
revolution"       a Tetra Pak       liquid gold and a social pact


the idea is      the men of Everton vs Liverpool
deft men       premiere men       fragile men
men's studs run down men's legs the reds
leave it late      to win in     injury time


the red flag     though it might say NOPE
to dominant ideologies does concede
to a basic bitch policy of
packaged visibility

the red flag might be rural fascism
on the only plausible bed, and to claim to be peripheral
is tantamount to what she said
sabotage under the hot light, where there is blood
coming out of her     where      ever

Eleanor Careless is completing her PhD at the University of Sussex, working on the poetry of Anna Mendelssohn. She has poetry published in Hi Zero, Sure Hope, and Zarf, and writing on poetry published by Poetry London, Review 31, Hix Eros, The Paper Nautilus, and The Literateur.